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Bristow and Sutor CTAX Debt i knew nothing about and i'm still with the same council! West Oxfordshire District Council **RESOLVED by Local Councillor - ALL FEES/LO FEES REMOVED**


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On 3rd April I received 3 letters in the mail,

a CT bill from WODC was dated 26th March,

two begging letters from BS dated 25th March.


WODC claim that I owe outstanding CT for an address I left almost 4 years ago (9th July 2020).

I don’t dispute this as I have now checked with the agent I rented through and was told that CT was not included in the rent, though I was definitely under the impression at the time I lived there that it was.

I lived there from 20th March 2020 until 9th July 2020, and I was never contacted about CT whilst at that address. I have since been living in the same WODC area continually, with 2 changes of address, and had 2 later CT accounts (no problems with these) they have my details and address on record and have had since 10th July 2020 when I filled in the forms at my next address with my new landlord.

WODC claim that I owe £501.45, (email reply to my first query) though they only sent me a bill for £351.05 (1st April 2020 to 9th July 2020), the remaining £150.39 is supposedly for the 12-day period 20th March 2020 to 31st  March 2020, this figure seems to be excessive, as I have not seen any paperwork regarding this I have had to roughly recalculate the figure based on the 2020/21 charge minus the 4% increase from 2019/20.

By my calculations, 12 days of council tax should have been approximately £40.44.
£1281.36 / 104 * 100 = £1232.07 (to back-calculate the previous years CT)
£1232.07 / 366 = £3.37 (daily CT amount, 2020 was a leap year)
£3.37 *12 = £40.44
Giving a total owed of (approximately) £391.49. It looks like they have mistakenly charged me from 20th February 2020.

BS sent me a “Notice of enforcement” the day before I was even sent a bill by WODC !!!
In it they claim that I owe WODC £870.06, though they give no explanation of how the increase of around £475 came about !
They then add on a “compliance” fee of £75, and magically make the total £1180.06…..

Try as I might, after many attempts to work this out, I can only make their figures add up to £945.06….. I think someone there needs to go back to school and do basic maths over again !

They also state that there was a Liability order made on 3rd November 2023, though they give no details of where it was obtained.
I have since received threatening SMS messages from them, but to date, I have completely ignored them.

I know they have no power of entry so the bluff and bluster can be ignored (the adrenalin still pumps though whenever the doorbell rings), but I am worried about mine and my wife’s cars, as they are parked outside with nowhere to move them to.

I’m almost sure that I remember reading somewhere that there is a lower limit on the value of the car they can take, and if it is below this they are not allowed to take it, I think this was somewhere around £1350, but I am not sure…. can anyone here verify this or am I imagining it ?

My car, a 20 year old Toyota Yaris valued at about £650, is my sole means of getting too and from work (34 miles a day) as public transport (3 busses and a train at £26 per day) would take me more than 3 hours each way. The other car is registered in my wife’s name, and her name is NOT on the bill or the BS letters.

I have written to the council informing them that I am not attempting to avoid payment of the genuine arrears, and I have asked to see documents showing the accurate amounts and any extra charges applied, plus unredacted copies of all previous communications from WODC to myself concerning this account and anything concerning any Liability order.

I also informed them that as I am not legally obligated to do so, I will not engage with BS in any way, they will not be allowed into my home, and I will not be paying them anything, all payments will be made direct to WODC once the dispute has been settled. I also asked them to contact BS and instruct them to immediately cease all action and return all documentation.

Since 4th April, I have heard nothing back from WODC, but I have received another SMS from BS.

I am going to contact my local councillor by email later today, giving him all the details I have outlined above, and I am also going to send a reminder email to the CT department of WODC and CC the council leader and other “high up” members.

Am I handling this correctly ?

can anyone suggest anything else I can do as well.

Nil Illigitimus Carborundum

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you probably wont be able to escape paying the NOA fee of £75.

just check that a LO exists for all/anything CTAX wise the council think you owe.

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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NOA ?

Is that Notice of attendance ?
They haven't been here..... yet !

As for the LO details, I have requested them from WODC, but not heard anything yet, I'm sending a reminder today or tomorrow. I'm running completely blind on this at the moment as I've never received anything to do with it before last week..

Do you think it might be worth me contacting Breathing Space in the meantime as well ?

Nil Illigitimus Carborundum

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sorry not - notice of assignment from busted and stupid.

On 13/04/2024 at 14:56, djweeble said:

BS sent me a “Notice of enforcement” 
They then add on a “compliance” fee of £75, 

cant see the point of BS, they wont make you pay anything too heavy £PCM <£20 i expect.

just type no need to hit quote

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Posted (edited)

Update:

I wrote again to WODC and again they have failed to reply.
I also wrote to my 2 local councillors and the Leader of the council.....
 

Quote

Dear sir.

On 3rd April 2024 I received a bill from WODC, and a threatening letter from Bristow and Sutor, for outstanding Council Tax that I was unaware of for the above address that I had left almost 4 years ago (9th July 2020). This was the first EVER communication I had received about this, and it came as a shock. After contacting the Council Tax finance department (Joanne Wilson) I was told that the total amount owed was £501.45, I dispute the amount claimed, as it seems to be in excess of the amount payable for the days I was living at the address. Although WODC  have only sent me the one bill for £351.05 (1st April 2020 to 9th July 2020), the remaining £150.39 is supposedly for the 12-day period 20th March 2020 to 31st  March 2020, this figure seems to be excessive. Because I have not seen any paperwork regarding this I have had to roughly recalculate the figure based on the 2020/21 charge minus the 4% increase from 2019/20.

 By my calculations, 12 days of council tax should have been approximately £40.44.

£1281.36 / 104 * 100 = £1232.07 (to back-calculate the previous years CT)

£1232.07 / 366 = £3.37 (daily CT amount, 2020 was a leap year)

£3.37 *12 = £40.44

Giving a total owed of (approximately) £391.49. It looks like they have mistakenly charged me from 20th February 2020.

However, this is not the worst part;

On 3rd November 2023 WODC brought a Liability Order claim without ever contacting me about the outstanding account. I had lived at the address from 20th March 2020 until 9th July 2020, and I was never contacted about Council Tax whilst living there. I have since been living in the same WODC area continually, with 2 changes of address, and had 2 later CT accounts (there are no problems with these) they have my details and current address on record and have had since 10th July 2020 when I filled in the forms at my previous address with my then new landlord. They have never contacted me about this account even though they had my correct address on record for the past 4 years.

 WODC's own regulations state:

"Reminder notice.
We will send a reminder notice if you miss an instalment, requesting full payment of the missed instalment within seven days. If you only pay part of the outstanding amount we will not stop further recovery action and you will receive a final notice.

 Second reminder notice
We will send a second reminder notice if you miss an instalment for the second time in a financial year period, requesting full payment of the missed instalment within seven days. If you only pay part of the outstanding amount we will not stop further recovery action and you will receive a final notice.

 Final notice
We will send a final notice if you miss an instalment for the third time in a financial year period, or you fail to pay the outstanding amount on a reminder notice or a second reminder notice. At this stage you have lost your right to pay by instalments without us applying for a Liability Order."

WODC have NEVER sent me any of the above forms of notice, and were therefore in breach of their own regulations and standards by bringing the action.

 
I wrote to WODC on 3rd April explaining that I was fully prepared to pay the correct outstanding balance.

On 4th April I requested information about the account, and how a Liability order had been obtained without my knowledge, they have not responded.

I requested copies of all documentation concerning this case, including all court documents, they have failed to supply me with any such documentation.

I requested that WODC contact Bristow and Sutor and inform them that the account was in dispute, they have failed to do so, I am now receiving threatening SMS messages from B&S.

This is causing both myself and my wife an extraordinary amount of worry and stress.

 

I have written again to WODC this evening, asking that they set aside the liability order, and would be grateful if you could also take the time to contact the appropriate department on my behalf.

Thank you and best regards.


Only one of them responded, my local councillor who also happens to be "Executive Member for Finance" , and he said that he had asked the relevant officer to look into it and report back, then he would come back to me with the response. I haven't heard back and it's now a week.

I'm seriously beginning to think that someone there has been alerted to the fact that they have fuffed up, and they are dragging their feet until they can cover their arse!

Do you think it is worth sending a reminder email to the councillor that responded, or should I give them a little longer ?  I have stopped receiving SMS's from B&S so maybe they have been asked to lay off, but I have no sure way of knowing !

I also have the email address of the CEO of the council, maybe I should send him a copy of the above, stating that I am still waiting for a response and that I am completely in the dark about B&S.

Edited by djweeble

Nil Illigitimus Carborundum

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pers i'd be checking what LO's were issued and when?

why not send WODC an sar?

at the end of the day you'll still owe 'something'.

the fact they might not have abided by 'regulations' upon what letters to send and where and when is pretty immaterial sadly this far down the line.

the magistrate has issued atleast one LO.

get an sar running, it's legally enforceable that they must comply in 30days.

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Give your local councillor a ring,

I have had similar problems with WODC in the past when I lived round there, you can probably get the fees scrapped via the councillor, but you are going to likely need to pay the C TAX, although they will come to a flexible arrangement.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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Thanks for the replies DX 100uk and London1971.


As I mentioned before, I honestly do intend to pay the outstanding CT, but the figure I was initially quoted on 3rd April is obviously wrong, I want to get that corrected first.

As soon as I get an accurate figure I will arrange payment.

I will call my local councillor tomorrow sometime and ask him to give the relevant officer a nudge, then if I don't hear anything from them by this coming Wednesday (21 days after my initial enquiry) , I will issue a SAR.

I'll update again when I have anything to tell.....

Nil Illigitimus Carborundum

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Success !!!

I gave the councillor a quick call this morning, asking him to give the relevant officer a little nudge,

I also followed it up with a short email in which I CC'd the Leader of the council and the CEO.


One hour later I received the following from the Head of Finance.....

 

Quote

Dear Mr W**** 

Firstly, please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience and unnecessary stress that this matter has caused.  Please be assured that this was never the intention of the Council.

 Having now reviewed this matter personally I am now able to respond.

 When you moved from the address in 2020 the Council were notified by the management of the park.  Unfortunately, they were not able to supply the Council with a forwarding address so no additional address was added to the closed account.

 It does appear that all reminder notices and summons in respect of the debt were sent to your last known address.  Your new address was never linked to this address.

The amount initially notified to you as outstanding, included additional court costs, plus additional fees added by the Enforcement Agents.

 I can now confirm that I have instructed the Enforcement Agent to remove the fees from your account and return your case back to the Council, who can arrange a suitable repayment plan.  I have also removed any costs associated with obtaining the summons and liability order.  The balance outstanding is now £391.45.  This balance is made from the following:

Period from 20 March 2020 to 31 March 2020 (12 days)                 £40.39
Period from 1 April 2020 to 9 July 2020 (100 days)                          £351.06

Total owed                                                                                                £391.45

An amended bill will be sent to you shortly.

 Again, I would like to offer my sincere apologies and would ask that if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

 Kind regards

M****

So my calculation was almost bang on...... I was only 4p out.
Thank you DX 100uk and London1971 for your replies, keep up the good work, I will be making a donation to the group in a few days..... once this months wages hit my bank account 👍

  • Like 1

Nil Illigitimus Carborundum

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:yo:

glad to help.

now you understand the stance we take..straight down the line every time.

make them prove they are right. 

On 13/04/2024 at 16:19, dx100uk said:

cant see the point of BS,

thread title updated

dx

  • Like 1

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Share on other sites

  • dx100uk changed the title to Bristow and Sutor CTAX Debt i knew nothing about and i'm still with the same council! West Oxfordshire District Council **RESOLVED by Local Councillor - ALL FEES/LO FEES REMOVED**

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